Dr. Tushaar Shah, an economist and a water-energy policy specialist, is a former faculty member and Director of the Institute of Rural Management at Anand in India and current member of the IRMA board of directors. Dr. Shah began his career working with Dr. Kurien at NDDB. As a faculty member, he taught managerial and welfare economics to IRMA students during the 1980s. He experimented with several innovations in teaching of applied economics, such as Naranpur Express, a simulation game which is in use in IRMA even today. As a faculty member, Dr. Shah also experimented with collaborative field research with students. Two of his books on cooperatives published in 1996 were the outcome of his collaboration with PRM students during field work segment. In 1984, while doing fieldwork with two PRM students – Paresh Shah and Viren Lobo – Dr. Shah discovered village level water markets playing a powerful role as a local economic institution, and analysed their working. The research he published on water markets generated wide interest in India and abroad and water markets soon emerged as a distinct field of study in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and China. This new field attracted hundreds of researchers and led to a voluminous empirical literature during the 1990’s and thereafter.
After he moved on from IRMA, Dr. Shah was invited by Colombo based International Water Management Institute (IWMI) to lead their global research program on water policy and institutions. Since 2001, Dr. Shah has been leading IWMI-Tata Water Policy Program (ITP) which applies design thinking approaches to water-energy problems. IWMI-Tata Program has strong links with IRMA; at different stages, it employed over 25 IRMA graduates as its Research Fellows. Moreover, it has also supported and supervised over 150 students during DIS and MTS.
His policy research on groundwater governance won Dr. Shah Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)’ “Outstanding Scientist” award in 2002, UN Water-for-Life Award for Best Practices in water management research in 2014 and Distinguished Associate Award of International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) in 2018. For over a decade, Dr. Shah has been a regular invitee to the annual pre-budget consultations with Union Finance Minister in the field of agriculture and rural development. Last month, Dr.Shah was invited to brainstorm with the Prime Minister and Niti Ayog along with 40 economists, industrialists and thought leaders on “Economic Policy: The Road Ahead” for NDA II.
Dr. Shah works out of Anand in India.